Nisennenmondai! Staccato motorik queens and guardians of The Loop have just dropped a new album produced in collaboration with post-dub magus Adrian Sherwood. Titled #N/A (a gnomic abbreviation of ‘Nisennenmondai’ and ‘Adrian’, we are lucky enough to exclusively premiere this track-by-track account of the work from the band themselves.
In addition to what we played on this track in the recording session we added additional sounds. That was Adrian’s idea. For example, he asked for cymbal so I imagined that he would record what I played and cut them and edit them but he instead used it exactly as I played. I was like “Why didn’t you tell me first!” and felt a bit ashamed as I was just playing around but it sounds very good in the end we think. (Himeno)
This is the only track that we prepared for the recording. We had the basic structure and rhythm for it but we didn’t have enough time to finish it so I would say it was about 60% done before we recorded it. Listening to this now, the sound and the atmosphere of the session were really well recorded which helps embody the image of the track. With Adrian’s effects, its dark sketchy kind of atmosphere becomes more effective . Originally the track was made at a slower tempo and intended to build gradually in a subtle way but it turned out to be a bit more straight forward and easier to listen to in a way. I’m very happy with this track personally. Great circumstances for recording in terms of what you can hear while recording and quality of the sound system for you to check what’s been recorded and the fact that Adrian made us very relaxed and relieved made the vibe in the studio very good which I think is why we had a great outcome. (Takada)
We think Adrian’s mastership stands out on this. To be honest, as a band we weren’t really into this track when we recorded it but this track made us think that with help from other people, something you don’t expect can be added and it can be pulled into shape nicely. (Takada)
We didn’t really have a specific concept or target for this track so we were just jamming spontaneously which could be a reason why we feel this track is somewhat simpler than the other tracks which have a darker brooding atmosphere. (Zaikawa)
Nisennenmondai – #3[free download]
For this track, I remember when I was focusing on the top end of the track in the recording session, the fast bass drum kicked in and I felt that was amazing. (Takada)
The bass on this track was actually added after the session. I wasn’t really sure I was doing it right or not but Adrian didn’t say no to any of what we played and seemed accepting of everything we did which I think made the music so great. (Zaikawa)
This is our favourite track on the album. After the session Adrian asked me to play another layer of guitar to add to what we recorded. I remember asking him what sort of guitar he wants and he said “something crazy”. In the latter part of this track you can hear the additional “crazy” guitar that I played on top of what we recorded live.
The recording session was a lot of fun for us and Adrian seemed happy too so we felt good.
In terms of the whole album, the most important and valuable thing that we gained from this project is knowing and experiencing what’s great and interesting about being produced. Of course you need to have a sense of empathy with your producer at a certain level but our music until now was pretty much self-produced with a subjective sense (even though we do get influenced by a lot of different music). We have come to understand that having an objective point of view and seeing ourselves being produced by someone else is important for us to be able to absorb new ideas and feelings which will be very helpful for our next project. Adrian’s approach to production worked really well for us and made it easy to make the album.
Also, it was very interesting to see how he gives additional depth to the music that he mixes. In addition to that, the mastering by Rashad Becker added its own unique atmosphere which is again dark and brooding. We are impressed to see how the music could change considerably by having other people’s hands on it which for us is the reason why this album became so interesting. (Takada)
You can buy #N/A here. The full release also comes with two storming live tracks that has the group improvise a set while Sherwood fires them through a ricocheting, maze-like live dub mix!